A Fun Family Room Loft That We'll Want to Hang Out in- ORC Week 1! - Pretty Real

A Fun Family Room Loft That We'll Want to Hang Out in- ORC Week 1!

6:00 AM

A casual and relaxed family room with COLOR and personality- ORC Week 1

Agh! It's One Room Challenge™, week 1. Last year we transformed our office nook as a guest participant; this year? I am a featured designer! Say what?! I've been a busy bee gaining inspiration, sourcing furnishings, repeatedly editing my mood board, and finally feeling like I'm getting the vision for this project. Here's a little backstory on the room we plan to tackle- our 2nd-floor family room we call 'the loft.' Others might call it a bonus room.

A casual and relaxed family room with COLOR and personality- ORC Week 1

Besides painting the room, buying a sectional, and installing a DIY Ledge shelf, the loft is untouched. It's upstairs so only family and our closest friends see it--if you've cozied up in the loft, you know you're in the inner circle ;). But that means it doesn't always get the attention it deserves, which is a bummer considering we spend the majority of our family time in it. The loft is the backdrop for movie nights, game nights, indoor picnics, family football watch parties, and more. Every night after the kids go to bed, Joe and I veg out to old episodes of The Office or whatever show we're into at the moment. For 6 years we've stared at a 10-year-old IKEA cubby with assorted baskets and cords dangling about. Nearly every piece of furniture has been 'borrowed' from elsewhere in the house. All that to say, I'm ready to attack this space with some intention!

A casual and relaxed loft family room with COLOR and personality- ORC Week 1
The side of the room I never show!

A casual and relaxed bonus room with COLOR and personality- ORC Week 1
Another unflattering angle. ;)

Goals for the Family Room

I recommend listing your goals for any room you're renovating. It will keep you from making decisions solely based on aesthetics and provide a guidepost of sorts as you make decisions!

Tiffany's Tips: Renovating Advice from Pretty Real Blog

Family-Friendly: This means no-fuss fabrics and surfaces the kids can play on without destroying. This is why we chose performance fabric for the sectional, a durable loloi rug (we LOVE the one in the girls' room), and a real wood coffee table.

Fun: Initially my inspiration was gorgeous and sophisticated. I adored the rooms I was pinning but they didn't feel like us. I want something casual and relaxed with a dash of boldness and personality. I'm envisioning a fun space where my kids will feel comfortable hanging out. This is why I chose a colorful and bold rug.

Storage- For a house of its size, our home doesn't boast a lot of storage. Our hall closet is overflowing with games, craft kits, and linens so I'm excited to have closed storage- the only kind of storage that works for my messy brood- to store games, activities, and DVDs. This is why we're tackling our biggest DIY yet- a DIY built-in media unit with IKEA cabinets and Semihandmade door fronts. See our inspiration below!

Source: Simplify the Chaos - side note: lots of fun projects over there!

Wireless, please. Let's use this opportunity to hide the gross cords, kay? We'll show you how to do this next week!

A casual and relaxed family room with COLOR and personality- ORC Week 1


Sectional (I'll be sharing much more info about this down the road!)

Coffee Table

Leather Chairs

Fluted Side Table- I plan to make a taller and slightly bigger DIY version.


Faux Ficus




Basket (comes in a set of two- they've arrived and I ADORE them).

Paint Color- technically TBD but I am leaning toward a taupe shade.

Seagrass Art- sold out but I love this one too.

Inspiration (with a twist)

I was a bit "over" my gray sectional and was having a hard time imagining the room with it as the central piece. So I set out to find inspiration that included a gray sectional. I landed on the image below as a beautiful example of a dark sectional in a light, airy and layered family room. But when I was offered the partnership with Apt2B and they suggested a sectional, I was over the moon. It's a long story- if I'm being honest, I felt like my sectional was "fine" and I didn't need a new one. But at the end of the day, it felt like a great opportunity to start fresh and since ours was in good condition, I knew we'd find it a new home. I donated our old sectional to my church and I just received a photo of the recipient enjoying it- a person who was literally living in the woods 2 years ago. My heart is full that I could pay it forward and bless someone with a comfortable sofa!

Once I wasn't tied to the sofa, it felt a bit like starting from scratch.  I took a cue from this book, and for the first time, I really thought about how I wanted the space to feel and how I wanted it to function for our family, instead of trying to copy a photo. The inspiration below includes some elements I want to incorporate but no one photo depicts all the things. ha. 

Even though I'm not working around a gray sofa, I can't get over this inspo from Amber Lewis. I love the mix of patterns, textures, and how soothing it feels.

Light sofa, colorful rug, wood accents, large art over sofa, light and bright. Taking notes.

Source: @Himberhome

Fingers crossed that our built-ins will look similar to these once complete. Our paneling will be vertical but I was really excited to find a photo of slightly taller cabinets lining the media wall, paneling, and 2 shelves flanking the TV.

Source: @LoneFoxHome

I can't even list all of the things I adore in this living room by Lone Fox Home. The muted tones of the room, the leather, the woven accents, the dark wood, the black windows... it just works! Our rug is brighter but I love the thought of complementing it with leather, wood, and woven accents.

As soon as I stopped trying to force the dark sofa and a vintage/muted rug and embraced a bold colorful one, I came across this image (below) that I saved years ago. Clearly, my heart wanted a fun vibe in our family room. I immediately texted my friend "I really need to just embrace who I am." ha! I love Valeria's use of texture and color here!

Task List:

Now here's the list of the things we have to do to make it happen!

Install Vertical Paneling

Hide all the Cords!

Build a Built-in Entertainment System

    - build IKEA boxes

    - build DIY shelves

    - make a countertop

    -install semi-handmade doors and toe-kick

Paint the Built-In/cabinetry

Paint the Room

DIY game/side table 

Choose Art 

Choose Accessories (hardware, pillows, drapes...)

Style and Shoot!

Come back next week- I'll share details on the IKEA system and how Joe hid the wires--I can't believe it took us this long to tackle it! I'm sharing lots of behind the scenes over on Instagram as well. And make sure to check out the other designers below!

Ariene C. Bethea | At Home With Ashley | Banyan Bridges | Bari J. Ackerman | Brit Arnesen

Brownstone Boys| Cass Makes Home | Dominique Gebru | Gray Space Interiors| Haneen's Haven

Home Ec. | Nile Johnson Design | Pennies for a fortune | Prepford Wife | Rachel Moriarty Interiors

Sachi Lord | Susan Hill Interior Design | This Is Simplicite | Victoria Lee Jones

Media BH&G | TM ORC

You Might Also Like


  1. Your inspiration is lovely, can't wait to see your family room come together!

  2. We're both doing our family rooms! I love the inspo images, and can't wait to see how your space turns out!